«But the current of terror is louder.» No, I do not think so. To them vengeance is more credible than love. Yet even were it the louder current, I may point out that God is ever found «in the still small voice.» Nor is that which lies on the surface always, or even often, the true meaning of Scripture. Thus, in the predictions of the Messiah, the surface current, which wholly misled the Jews, spoke of a Conqueror, and of splendid earthly triumph. But the true meaning lay underneath the surface, in those fewer, less prominent, but diviner predictions of a suffering Savior, of His life of toil, – see Salv. Mund.
I hope to show, that while undoubtedly the penalties threatened against sinners are terrible, still they are not endless. I must ask you, before examining these passages, carefully to bear in mind the following considerations:
(I.) When the horrors of endless sin and pain are so stoutly defended on the (supposed) authority of the Bible, it is well to remember, that slavery was unanimously defended for more than fifteen hundred years on exactly similar grounds; so was the infliction of most cruel tortures; so was religious persecution with its indescribable horrors; so was the existence of witches, and the duty of burning them alive. Nay, every theologian in Europe was for centuries persuaded of the truth of actual sexual intercourse between evil spirits and men and women. «Holy men,» you say, «everywhere defend endless pain and evil on the authority of Scripture.» Holy men, I reply, have with absolute unanimity defended, on the authority of Scripture, tenets and practices so abominable that one shudders in attempting to recall them.
(II.) A fact of the deepest significance is this: that although certain phrases existed, by which the idea of unendingness might have been conveyed, yet none of these is applied by our Lord amid His Apostles to the future punishment of the impenitent. Those interested are invited carefully to weigh this very striking fact.
(III.) Thus aiidios or ateleutetos are never used of future punishment in the New Testament. Nor is it anywhere said to be aneu telous «without end,» nor do we read that it shall go on pantote, or eis to dienekes » for ever.»
I believe that not one passage can be found anywhere in the Bible that so teaches, when fairly translated and understood
(IV.) Is it, I https://www.samedaycashadvance.org/payday-loans-nm ask, conceivable that a sentence so awful as to be absolutely beyond all human thought, should be pronounced against myriads upon myriads of hapless creatures, in language ambiguous, and admittedly capable of a very different meaning, and habitually so used in the New Testament, and in the Greek version of the Old Testament, from which Our Lord and the Apostles quote?
Feeling this, I would face in all frankness all the facts, and entreat an honest and thorough examination
(V.) It is certainly a strong confirmation of the view which asserts that no unlimited penalty is tent to find so great a body of primitive opinion (and that specially of the Greek speaking Fathers), teaching Universalism ON THE AUTHORITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. – See pp. 84, 148, 170. All such teaching obviously contains an implied assertion that the texts, usually relied on, do not teach endless penalty.
(VI.) Again, while the texts quoted in favor of the salvation of all men use language clear and explicit, and are a fair rendering of the original in all cases, it is not so in the case of the passages usually alleged to prove endless torment. In those cases where they seem to the English reader so to teach, they are either mistranslated or misinterpreted, or both. Hence we see how inaccurate is the assumption all but universally made, that these terms that seem to teach endless pain and evil are in the Bible. They are merely in a certain human and fallible translation of the Bible, a totally different thing.